Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Trolls Begone

Troll alert!

I thought after the primary we would catch a break from tactics such as assigning attitudes to a whole population, alleging classism and maybe racism with code words, demonizing folks - but no. A comment today makes me think we are seeing not just advance trashing for the Nov. 8 general election, but perhaps early stage-setting for 2017.

Here's the comment:

It is interesting that all the folks who live in Sleepy Hollow and that area thought the race was wonderful, and then they went back home without one thought about all the merchants who lost money, or all the people that was late to work or just inconvenience, but the people in Sleepy Hollow and friends enjoyed it and that's all that mattered to mayor Mapp. 

What's up in 2017 locally that would require an early start on trolling? 

The Fourth Ward and mayoral seat will be up for election, as well as all 68 seats on the Democratic City Committee, which will vote next June on a chairperson for 2017-2019. Jerry Green's District 22 Assembly seat and Union County Democratic Party chairmanship will also be up.

The comment includes a real issue, namely whether the logistics of the bicycle races were properly planned. It just goes off the rails by assuming a lot of other things. Sometimes when I see a barrage of such comments, I think there must be a rent-a-troll industry where individuals get paid to write inflammatory remarks.

I am using this one as an example of why from here on out signed comments will get preference and anonymous broad-brush bashing will not be published. A lot of commenters give views on city issues without using troll tactics. It can be done.



  1. Bravo Bernice!! If a person can not put their name to their own words, they it probably should not be said. Any step towards accountability has my full support.

    "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants." Justice Louis D. Brandeis

    Richard Stewart

  2. Bernice - thank you for this post as well as safeguarding your blog from the silly disjointed posts that are meant to only create confusion and division. These posters have one agenda and they use any topic to express their vague and inaccurate comments. I think the example you posted is a perfect reflection of this kind of behavior. The code of Sleepy Hollow to replace the "white people on the hill".

    It is always interesting to me that posters who use this type of division seem to have never traveled much around Ward 2 or they would find that it is an extremely diverse area of the city - including whites, blacks, gays, Hispanics, blue-collar and white-collar residents. It also includes Jerry Green and Rev Tracey Brown among other esteemed members of the community.

    By the way - having the race up in Netherwood/Sleepy Hollow next year might be very interesting - road layout would be a challenge and might make for an interesting event to watch. Then these trolls can post about how the "white people on the hill" put the events in their neighborhoods instead of downtown where merchants could have an opportunity for some additional business. Like I said - the agenda is the same, it just moves to different topics of the moment - unencumbered by the thinking process.

  3. Whoever this person is, he/she presumes to know "all" the "folks who live in Sleepy Hallow" and, more interesting, "that area"--which means that this person must live there as well. Also, he/she says that "all" the Sleepy Hollow folks "thought the race was wonderful"--did all the folks in Sleepy Hollow go to the race? And, maybe the reference to "that area" refers to the 2nd Ward near Sleepy Hollow, where Councilwoman Brown and Asm. Jerry Green also live? How would this person know who lives in Sleepy Hollow unless he/she is a stalker? To say that the mayor who lives in the 3rd ward wanted to inconvenience workers and church goers is nonsense. Why would anyone want to do that? The business owners who made some money on Sunday seemed happy. Are they part of the mythical "Sleepy Hollow" crowd too? The trolls are out to destroy the city with their racist and xenophobic appeals. I am glad that you are calling them out.

  4. Bernice, I think that’s an excellent idea. If you are not willing to stand for what you believe and sign your name to a comment then you should find a new venue to vent. In my opinion, I think trolls are gearing up for the 2017 election as November 2016 is a done deal. I don’t recall ever hearing anyone claim Mayor Mapp to be perfect. I may not always agree with every decision he makes (and he doesn’t need my approval) but if we are being honest, we can all agree that he has proven to be a true leader with a plan to move Plainfield in a positive direction in an effort to bring in businesses to help support our tax base. All this nonsense about street closures is ridiculous. You would be hard-pressed to name one town or city that occasionally doesn’t have street closures for summer events. And for those who claim there wasn’t advance notice, I got at least 4 recorded phone calls including emails. The event was widely publicized in the city. I live in ward 3 /3 and I thought the idea of the bike race was wonderful, it’s good to bring positive events to Plainfield and show our surrounding communities that our city is a peaceful place to work, live and play. Before you all start making your foul comments about my comment or me being a sellout, know this, I’m a home owner here in Plainfield, as a realtor I know my property is an investment. Whatever I do or say will always have the best interest of this CITY in my heart and mind. Keep in mind, because someone signs a name be it their own or fictitious, doesn’t make what they comment true or real. Thanks Bernice!

    Robin B.

  5. Thank you Bernice for taking a stand for accountability. An open debate is good for democracy. People need to take ownership their comments.

    Tom Kaercher

  6. Thank you, Bernice. I know that some who feel disenfranchised by the past elections and the ousting of Sharon and Jerry from control of Plainfield are already working their dirt to insinuate things into the next election that are foolish, untrue, and perhaps dirty. This administration has done a good, but not perfect, job for the citizens of Plainfield. Better than we've had for years. I am also upset that class baiting and race baiting is still going on. It's bad enough that we see it in the City Council, but elsewhere is also unacceptable. Thank you for taking a stand.

    Bob Bolmer, 2nd Ward, District 1 City Committee Elected Member and City Commissioner. (All unpaid potions)

  7. Bob are you serious race and class baiting will never go away.You people who are not affected by it will NEVER understand the hurt, because you don't understand or because your life is not touched by it don't knock others for speaking out.

    1. What are you talking about? Race baiting WILL go away if you and others stop using phrases like "you people". What does that mean ? White people? All people are capable of empathy and understanding and kindness, whether or not they've personally experienced something. We have to get past all that. Plainfield is becoming a diverse and beautiful city and I'm proud to live here. I will always choose development, positive events like the bike race and diversity (meaning something for ALL people)over crime, violence, ,babies makin' babies, ignorance and poverty. That's not race baiting - that's universal progress. There's a very bright future for Plainfield if people are willing to take responsibility for their lives and the well being and education of their children. If they're willing to move past petty political power wars and work for the greater good. If they're able to offer empathy, compassion and understanding regardless of the artificial divisions of race, religion or class. Now is the time!

  8. This was a poorly planed event that all merchants in the lock down area lost money. No matter what race you are or what ward you live in we all need to work together and be well informed citizens so we can promote what a beautiful city we live in.

  9. So Sandra, how do you know they lost money? I heard that the merchants were thrilled with the race, and they had made money.

    Are you the same person who came to the council meeting claiming that merchants didn't know about the race and didn't want it, and then you were followed by a merchant who claimed that your statement was false, and they were happy that the city was having the race